“A statement victory”: Henman left in awe of ‘clear favourite’ Djokovic after De Minaur win

Novak Djokovic played an incredible match against local Alex De Minaur, knocking him out of the Australian Open, leaving fans and experts impressed.

Tim Henman, Eurosport journalist, described the Nole match as a “statement performance”. The Serb had eliminated the 22nd seed De Minaur only conceding 5 games and breaking his rival 6 times.

“For me it was a statement performance and a statement victory”.

“We’ve seen in both the men’s and women’s singles there have been so many upsets. The top two seeds have gone out of both draws for the first time in the Open era, and I think he is the clear favourite.”, said Henman.

Also, highlighted that the level of the 21-time-Grand Slam champion was despite the pain in his leg and playing against the last local hope in the tournament:

“There have been question marks, mainly around his leg and his physicality, but to see him go out against De Minaur in front of his home crowd, and just destroy him - it wasn’t through lack of effort, De Minaur tried from the first ball to the last, but, Djokovic was just simply too good.”

On the other hand, the former World No.1 Mats Wilander anticipated that Djokovic will arrive with confidence "through the roof" to the quarter final match against the Russian Andrey Rublev:

“Unbelievable. The ball striking skills are absolutely incredible. The tactical moves that he makes here and there, how he can shorten the point on both the forehand and the backhand, he throws in a second serve harder than the first serve he just hit. I mean the self-belief in Novak right now is just incredible.”

“I was thinking watching him that I asked Pete Sampras once how he would play Rafael Nadal on clay, and he said, ‘I wouldn’t let him hit more than one shot a rally’. You can’t do that with Novak, because he’s not allowing you to hit more than one shot. He’s super, super aggressive, confidence is through the roof and looks unbeatable for sure.”

The Swede also wanted to compare the duel against the Australian with the next match that Nole will play with Rublev:

“His first serve is better, not sure about the second serve, but his first serve is a little harder, a little more precise. I think he hits his forehand better than De Minaur. I think he can take the ball a little bit earlier.”

“I don’t know if Novak is going to be able to dictate as much, I don’t know if Novak necessarily wants to dictate as much against Rublev as he was allowed to today, so I think it’s a different match-up, and Rublev - yes, he’s a better player than De Minaur everywhere to me.”

“But if Novak plays like this, you have to be a huge server to have any kind of chance, because from the baseline, it’s a different game.”, said Wilander.

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